Despite the strong growth in sales since this spring, declining affordability could begin to slowly dampen demand. Some markets reported slower foot traffic in part because of low inventory and concerns about the continued rise in home prices without commensurate income gains. Total housing inventory declined 0.4% to 2.24 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 4.75 lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.9 months the month before. » [read more]

 

Existing home sales steadily increased for the third consecutive month while stubbornly low inventory levels and rising prices are likely to blame for sales to first-time buyers falling to their lowest share since January. Total existing home sales, increased 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in from a downwardly revised 5.48 million the month before. Sales remained at the highest pace since February 2007, have now increased year-over-year for ten consecutive months and are 10.3% above a year ago. » [read more]

 

New housing starts rose to a near eight-year high as builders ramped up construction of single-family homes, suggesting that the economy was firing on almost all cylinders. The new Commerce Department report added to solid payrolls, retail sales and industrial output data in suggesting the economy got off to a strong start in the third quarter.The steady flow of upbeat economic reports has bolstered views that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September. The Fed is likely to take further reassurance that housing is on an improving trend and this should add to the view that the economy is in more normal territory. » [read more]